powered by Fotopedia
Elizabeth S. Craig, a Penguin/Berkley author who has recently taken the plunge and self-published, writes about what has worked for her. These are her tips, paraphrased:
1. Use a loss leader
This is what grocery stores do all the time, they price one thing low, the loss leader--for some reason it's often bananas--to try and get customers in the door then they sell everything else at a normal price confident that the average customer will buy much more than the loss leader.
2. Release your self-published title about the same time as a traditionally published one
Many folks aren't going to be able to take advantage of the publicity push arranged by a traditional publisher, but if you have one then take advantage of it!
3. Use your real name for your self-published books
It's easier for fans of your traditionally published work to find your self-published work that way. Elizabeth writes:
I’ve made more money following a traditionally published release in my own name (i.e., the recent Quilt or Innocence release) than following a release with a pen name (the November 2011 release of Hickory Smoked Homicide as Riley Adams.) This tells me that readers are looking for other books under my real name.4. Make sure everyone is on the same schedule
This point isn't so much about increasing sales as making sure there will be a book to sell! Elizabeth advises keeping in contact with everyone on your team (if you have one)--your editor, formatter, and so on--to make sure that they have time to devote to your book. Elizabeth writes:
From a production standpoint, I’ve learned that I have to think ahead in terms of reserving editors, artists, and formatters. Last year I was ready to put my first self-published book through the production process and everyone I contacted was busy. This time I will contact everyone on my team before I complete my final draft.5. Release a print version as well as an ebook
This will help keep your fans happy. Sometimes folks are used to reading paper books and they don't want to change. Setting up an account at CreateSpace is simple and cost-effective so there's no reason not to. (I haven't done this yet because I don't want the bother, but I know I should.)
6. Write the book your readers want to read
If, for example, niche books are popular in your genre, then think about writing one, especially if you're at the beginning of your writing career and few readers know your name. For instance, if you're a mystery writer, cozy mysteries are popular and might be a good way to build an audience. Elizabeth writes:
I'm thinking that niche books with built-in, dedicated audiences (like cozy mysteries) tend to do well with self-publishing. It certainly doesn't hurt, in my observations, to have traditionally published books releasing regularly, either.To read Elizabeth's entire article, go here: A Few Self-Publishing Thoughts and Discoveries
I hope you've found something useful in amongst these six points. If anyone has anything to add, please do!
Elizabeth's self-published books:
- Progressive Dinner Deadly (A Myrtle Clover Mystery)
- A Dyeing Shame (A Myrtle Clover Mystery) -- [July 26, 2012: Only $0.99!]
Elizabeth's traditionally published books:
- They're all listed over on Elizabeth's book page.
- Self Publishing: 3 Steps To Success
- 10 Reasons Why Stories Get Rejected
- How To Find The Right Freelance Editor For You